You are not logged in.

Gougai! Gougai!

HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#1 | Back to Top11-22-2009 02:31:22 AM

minervana
High Tripper
Registered: 10-10-2009
Posts: 246

Movie-Touga and his "Father"

Trigger warning - this thread is about the scene in Adolescence Apocalypse where Touga's adopted father rapes (or molests) him. If that's a problem for you please proceed with caution, or leave now. (The graphics are linked instead of embedded for this reason).

I've always wondered about this scene. It's such a strange thing to throw into an already strange movie. In my opinion it's the most horrifying thing in the movie, yet there's this lush string score behind it, and Touga has a mysterious expression on his face at the climax. Compare that to the start of the scene, where he looks numb and traumatized before anything's happened, and his relaxed, open pose when describing "the customer" to Shiori.

What do you think this scene adds to the movie? Why is it in there? If I remember the DVD commentary rightly, Ikuhara said that Touga's nightmare childhood was used to show the "dark side" or the "terrifying side" of beauty. I'm not sure what to think for myself, though, because it's not clear how it ties in to the rest of the plot (does Utena know, for example, that her Prince was, well, bought by a pedophile with a private income?). I mean, butterflies? What the fuck?

Compare this to series Touga. I know it's a different story, and there's no hint that Touga had the same experience in the series (unless I missed it--which is likely).

Offline

 

#2 | Back to Top11-22-2009 02:41:55 PM

Riri-kins
World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
Posts: 2346

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

I always wondered why that scene was included in the movie too. emot-confused It doesn't advance the plot in any way. The only possible reason I can think of is that the director wanted to show us Shiori was just a warm body to Touga and he didn't really enjoy it anyway, hence the Shiori butterflies.


Proud Saionji and Mikage fangirl
My Utena fanfiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2000115/Riri-kins

Offline

 

#3 | Back to Top11-22-2009 03:44:41 PM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4411

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

I assumed it was to create a parallel between Dios and Touga.

In the series, Dios loses his innocence (whether you want that to be Anthy being attacked by the swords or also believe that Anthy did something sexual to Dios in the Tale of the Rose in order to purposefully corrupt him and keep him to herself, which is another can of worms) and unfortunately loses his princeliness in the process and becomes Akio.

In the movie, Touga's loss of innocence is sexual, but he manages to retain his princeliness despite it.  This makes him a true prince,  but alas, he dies saving Juri from the river, tying in with the theme that in Ohtori, all the princes are dead.  This is designed to point out the flaw in the archetypal prince.  Namely, that it is unrealistic.  A purely selfless person is bound to one day sacrifice themselves for the life of another, any other, whether they are important to them or not (pointed out by him dying to save Juri, who we are not sure if she ever knew Touga, and not Utena instead).  Only protecting those they care about is not the pure selflessness of the fairytale prince in Utena.  Princes are detailed in fairy tales as being infallible and living happily every after with their princesses, which cannot be the case in the real world.   

Touga was a real prince, and so he is, logically, dead.  Utena in the move is unable to accept this and let him or her sadness go, unable to imagine living happily without the love and support he gave her as a child, which is why he appears to her in Ohtori as a ghost.  She eventually realizes that while she did truly love him and he her and is thankful for all that he gave her, that she cannot be with him and more importantly, that she is no longer a weak little girl who needs saving, and that there a new friend, possibly a new love, who needs her.  So Utena becomes a car and helps Anthy escape, though unlike Touga and Juri, Anthy has to do her part and drive the car, protecting them both while on the road.

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (01-07-2010 07:53:15 AM)

Offline

 

#4 | Back to Top07-09-2016 05:36:52 PM

pesimistamente
Anthy Assailer
From: Barcelona [former epi]
Registered: 01-12-2016
Posts: 70

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

I do think Movie!Touga and TV!Touga's background are connected. Touga is the only duellist from which we get to know nothing at the end, not even during the Black Rose Saga. During the entire episode in the BRS, we can not even see his eyes or hear his voice, ever, and this saga is meant to explore the "deeper" side of each one of them by somebody else's point of view. For Touga we get a completely stranger's POV, someone who Utena doesn't even know the name of.

If the background is the same, it adds so much more missing information to Touga and all his relationships. The memory of Nanami and the cat? There was some sort of rivalry between Touga and his adoptive father going on (a public place where Touga could challenge and win some power back from the man who was abusing him). It could also give Nanami's exaggerated feeling of debt to his brother some reason behind it, even if unconscious. Saionji's relationship would also mean something different, since he left his hair long to mimic Touga's, unaware of what it meant to him. Saionji's jealousy over his friend, feeling of inferiority because of his beauty and maturity, would be simply explained by Saionji still being innocent while Touga had lost his innocence long ago, and sharing that reality with his friend would forever change him.

Making it the same background adds a lot of silence to Touga's relationships that really explain the actual missing plot for him on the show.

In my opinion, they just added this scene in the movie because they decided to leave it out of the show for some reason. I remember it was confirmed by the word of god but if someone could confirm it?

Last edited by pesimistamente (07-09-2016 05:40:46 PM)

Offline

 

#5 | Back to Top07-09-2016 07:41:21 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

I rewatched the movie very recently so it is very fresh in my mind. I actually think the abuse background, whether it applies to the series or not, is a very good way of fleshing out a princely character apart from their princely attributes, so to speak. As has been already stated, a prince is one who saves everyone, it is more a role than a actual person (which is probably why we can have more than one 'prince' and why Shiori can see pushing the role of prince on Juri as a punishment, and how Utena can act as a prince).
Having Touga have such a terrible background shows that he is an actual person as opposed to a fairytale character. Everyone who has ever acted heroic is still, at the end of the day, as much a human being as the rest of us- and that is a good thing.

I also think that the whole 'dark side of beauty' is almost literal in this case and this is saying much since the movie is so surreal. In other words, Touga's lush, long, pretty hair that is such a hallmark of who he is, happens to be the result of his being sexually coveted by adults as a child.

It is not so much that scene that I quest the validity of as much as Nanami's cow apperance. The franchise is not averse to comedy so in itself I can accept Nanami's cow form making a cameo (even if I think the movie would lose little if it left it out) but in combination with Touga's sexual abuse it suddenly becomes a bit questionable.
Even if Nanami was not a victim of abuse herself, the fact that she still grew up in a house where her brother was routinely abused, makes it difficult to see the comedy in her being turned into a cow and urinated upon by Chu-Chu. Of course, even in SKU she goes through quite a lot and is mocked through most of the series but the format allows for pacing the Nanami humor to meld into the more dramatic moments.
But the movie, by its very nature, is much more saturated so that the viewer has to deal with Touga being a victim of child abuse almost alongside Nanami-as-a-cow.

As for the butterfly scene itself, I wonder why the foster father actually has a face. Usually parents are silhouetted so it seems very deliberate that he should have actual facial features. Perhaps it was to add to the disturbing factor as his expression is truly nightmare fuel.

Offline

 

#6 | Back to Top07-10-2016 01:36:38 AM

barafubuki
Touga Topper
Registered: 05-13-2016
Posts: 56

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

Ugh, I just wrote up my thoughts and they got deleted. I'll have to do this again.

I really am enjoying everyone's analyses on here. Especially OnlyInThisLight's thoughts on the topic. The butterflies are very important because they are parasitic cabbage eating butterflies.

This is what the butterfly looks like:
http://daisychaineconursery.com/uploads/3/4/3/4/34346001/_4409375.jpg?351
And this is what happens to the cabbage:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_pk8Alr1j_4g/TBd8VeZ-YRI/AAAAAAAAAV8/PVI8PpndWE0/s1600/cabbage.jpg

Shiori is making her metamorphic transformation into an adult, but not the good kind. Perhaps the parasitic kind? I'm certain it is an allusion to the Black Rose Saga where Mikage was preventing all the side characters from self-actualizing into fully developed adults. You could deduce what the character's psychological mindset was by the shadowbox on the elevator wall, and it's various stages of metamorphosis. If an unresolved issue was exposed to Mikage, he made them relieve their painful memories until they had a psychological regression.

I think the metamorphosis into adulthood (albeit, the misguided adult) is backed up by her transformation into a car later in the film. However, when she transformed, she dived off into the deep end and crashed her car. Although she had made a physiological transformation into an adult through puberty, she didn't have the tools to understand that she was harming others by her selfish and childish desires.

At least, that is my take on it.

@Nocturnalux
I am also a bit disturbed with the portrayal of movie Nanami, if only because she has been reduced to being a cow for the entirety of the movie. The fact that Suzuki, Yamada, and Tanaka were all elephants like in the curry episode makes me think it was a joke. I don't know what to make of Chu-Chu's little friend...

@pesimistamente
Yes, you are right in your hunch. Word of God has said that TV and movie Touga share the same backstory. I just pulled this up the other day and posted it on another thread.

This is an interview with Enokido in the “Revolutionary Girl Utena Privacy Files” that were published in a magazine called “Shousetsu June” in 1999:

Although the TV series touched upon Touga’s younger days, the film goes into more details – the wound of Touga that was never directly depicted. In his younger days, Touga was a normal kid who enjoyed happy times with his friend Saionji Kyouichi and his younger sister Nanami. However, he came to know his unfortunate fate from the time he was ordered by his parents to wear his hair long. His parents sold him to the Kiryuu family. Although he was an adopted son on the surface, the instinctive Touga knew what that meant. And in order to protect his younger sister, he accepted his lot. Being sold. We did not go into depicting what Touga’s parents obtained by going as far as selling their son. We would like you to think of it as a kind of metaphor.

And Touga accepted in silence the sexual abuse from his new parents. His personality changed while he made a magnanimous show of enjoying the abuses in order to prevent his personality from splitting. The change took place in a spot so deep in his mind, that even those closest to him did not notice. Saionji and Nanami never noticed out of their innocence. And Touga never told his secret to anyone. It is said that a human being gains whatever he lost in exchange. So what did Touga gain in exchange at that point in time? It was the sense of alienation from being abused every night and seeing his innocent friend and sister during the day. The alienated self.

And it is out of this awareness of alienation that you come to obtain a higher human and sexual self-awareness. In the TV series, Saionji always felt that he was one step behind Touga. Although the two are more or less equal in terms of ability, what Saionji lacked was that sense of alienation.

Last edited by barafubuki (07-10-2016 01:48:08 AM)

Offline

 

#7 | Back to Top07-10-2016 01:56:51 PM

zeedikay
Sunlit Gardener (Prelude)
Registered: 02-22-2014
Posts: 170

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

barafubuki wrote:

I'm certain it is an allusion to the Black Rose Saga where Mikage was preventing all the side characters from self-actualizing into fully developed adults. You could deduce what the character's psychological mindset was by the shadowbox on the elevator wall, and it's various stages of metamorphosis. If an unresolved issue was exposed to Mikage, he made them relieve their painful memories until they had a psychological regression.

I think the metamorphosis into adulthood (albeit, the misguided adult) is backed up by her transformation into a car later in the film. However, when she transformed, she dived off into the deep end and crashed her car. Although she had made a physiological transformation into an adult through puberty, she didn't have the tools to understand that she was harming others by her selfish and childish desires.

At least, that is my take on it.

That seems pretty accurate to me.

Also of note is that the cabbage butterfly also is suspect to being parasitized, especially by parasite wasps. ( Like here... and here) It's a common agricultural trick used by cabbage growers and other farmers. I haven't really seen anything series or movie wise that's clearly wasp based, unless you're willing to describe the basic shape of most of the characters as wasp-waisted. It's a stretch, but it probably does add a bit more to the idea that Ohtori as a system harms more than it helps, especially with it's cultivation of the 'beautiful elites' or duelists.

There is also a type of rose called the cabbage rose, if anyone's curious. It's supposed to be fuller and more expensive that the more well known variants. ( Here!)

In regards to Nanami only being a cow... yeah. She was a very good source of comic relief in the show, but that served to give her more serious episodes more impact. I'd even go as far as saying that she ended up being one of the best foils to Anthy in terms of family relations, and Nanami could have been a glimpse into Anthy's younger personality. Even though the cow cameo...
Cowmeo?
Even though it probably was put in the movie to push the nightmarishly surreal nature of the movie (and to probably shove in characters they had no clue how to fit into the movie proper), it was sort of depressing that they couldn't find a bigger role for her. Chiho Saito managed to have Nanami have a slight presence in the manga, even if it was just a cameo in a picture.

Offline

 

#8 | Back to Top07-12-2016 06:21:49 PM

pesimistamente
Anthy Assailer
From: Barcelona [former epi]
Registered: 01-12-2016
Posts: 70

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

Nocturnalux wrote:

It is not so much that scene that I quest the validity of as much as Nanami's cow apperance. The franchise is not averse to comedy so in itself I can accept Nanami's cow form making a cameo (even if I think the movie would lose little if it left it out) but in combination with Touga's sexual abuse it suddenly becomes a bit questionable.
Even if Nanami was not a victim of abuse herself, the fact that she still grew up in a house where her brother was routinely abused, makes it difficult to see the comedy in her being turned into a cow and urinated upon by Chu-Chu. Of course, even in SKU she goes through quite a lot and is mocked through most of the series but the format allows for pacing the Nanami humor to meld into the more dramatic moments.
But the movie, by its very nature, is much more saturated so that the viewer has to deal with Touga being a victim of child abuse almost alongside Nanami-as-a-cow.

I wrote about a sequence between Nanami, Touga and her father in the TV Show, and how Touga's backstory dramatically changes TV!Nanami backstory too, if only hinted. You can read it here .

Since Touga defines Nanami's and Saionji's characters, all changes from TV/Movie!Touga also affects TV/Movie!Nanami. In a world where Akio has (so much) power, so does Touga, and when Touga's presence is almost hegemonic, Nanami is relevant and has some agency herself. In a world where Akio has (almost no) power, so does Touga and where Touga's presence is almost invisible and has been dead all along, Nanami is completely irrelevant and loses all her agency in the story.

They decided to portrait movie!Nanami in the way where TV!Nanami was defeated and powerless. Let's remember, regardless of how comedic Nanami's episodes are, they show us the contrast between Utena's agency to define herself vs Nanami's lack of actual power in Ohtori. It's tragic. Has anyone analyzed why they use an holocaust song for that specific episode?

Offline

 

#9 | Back to Top08-20-2016 10:57:07 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2788

Re: Movie-Touga and his "Father"

I still wonder if the butterfly bits in the movie aren't influenced by Ralph Bakshi's Coonskin, which features a mother, after her children self-destructively die, becoming a butterfly in her own death.

Bakshi was influential on many anime directors/showrunners, including (by their own admission) Shinichiro Watanabe and Hideaki Anno.

As far as whether or not tv-Touga was also sold and raped as a kid... I don't see any evidence that it wasn't the same for him. We don't really know.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB 1.2.23
© Copyright 2002–2008 PunBB
Forum styled and maintained by Giovanna and Yasha
Return to Empty Movement